Karim Saber, Transmission, Ubuntu ****

The new album that we have been most anticipating since hearing an initial track back at the end of last year guitarist Karim Saber makes his debut with Transmission and what an impact the British/Iranian player who studied at the Royal Academy of …

Published: 19 Jan 2024. Updated: 39 days.

The new album that we have been most anticipating since hearing an initial track back at the end of last year guitarist Karim Saber makes his debut with Transmission and what an impact the British/Iranian player who studied at the Royal Academy of Music and recorded his group's debut back in April makes. As we have noted already if you are into go-ahead guitarists like Wolfgang Muthspiel or Ant Law then Saber certainly will appeal. Here he is with pianist Alex Wilson, tenorist Matt Cook - if you like Mark Turner you will probably be into what he does on the album - bassist John Jones and drummer Jack Thomas. Tunes range from the bittersweet sax soaked ballad 'Blossom' where Cook takes on the initial melody to the fractured unpeeling of 'Mannheim' where all points of the band's sonic resource coalesce and the main track, the formidable statement that is the mournfully significant '3 Warwick Street,' its place on the album introduced by a short prelude track. Saber's guitar work is exact and playful and his harmonic grasp on 'Open' has a brightness in the voicings that is so appealing. Deserves a hatful of awards. But beyond all such backslappery and industry malarkey it's your ears it needs most of all. Out today

Tags: reviewsgreat new acts UK/Ireland-led, by lead artist(s) in reviews

Abbie Finn Trio, Stotties For Three ***

While the slang in the title is north east of England - a stottie is a flat and round loaf - the style of the playing crosses the Atlantic and on a tune such as 'Catching the Wind' that breeze takes you to say the sound of Sonny Rollins in the …

Published: 18 Jan 2024. Updated: 40 days.

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While the slang in the title is north east of England - a stottie is a flat and round loaf - the style of the playing crosses the Atlantic and on a tune such as 'Catching the Wind' that breeze takes you to say the sound of Sonny Rollins in the hands of this efficent piano-less trio led by charismatic drummer Abbie Finn with tenorist Harry Keeble in the Sonny role throughout and a solid sounding Paul Grainger on bass keeping a firm beat on 'Where Are We Going For Lunch' and on other tracks. You certainly get a retro 1950s fix on the album - even more retro in the New Orleans sound Finn finds on 'Mardi Groove'. Tunes are by Finn.